VAFA: Uni Blues turn tables on St Bede’s with extra-time triumph

ST Bede’s-Mentone Tigers defeated Uni Blues both times during the home-and-away A-section season. But the Blues had the last laugh when they booted clear of the Tigers in extra time of a dramatic first semi-final at Elsternwick Park yesterday to win by 18 points.

The Blues will play De La Salle, which lost the second semi-final to Old Xaverians by 92 points on Saturday, in the preliminary final at Elsternwick Park next Sunday.

In yesterday’s match, the Blues led by 13 points when the Tigers slammed on a behind and two goals, through Ben Phibbs and Brett Collins, with a few minutes remaining. The Blues kept the ball out of harm’s way on the Nepean Highway wing until the siren rang.

The Blues began the first of the two five-minute periods with goals to Matt Maltman and Sam Chadwick. Full-forward George De Crespigny kicked his ninth goal for the match in the second period as the Blues drew away to kick 3.1 to 0.1 in extra time.

The Blues’ best included De Crespigny and ruckman Jack Watts, who has been a vital addition since returning from Europe late in the season.

The two B-section finals played yesterday were decided by large margins: Old Melburnians defeated St Kevin’s by 55 points in the second semi-final at Coburg while Old Trinity upset St Bernard’s with a 60-point victory in the first semi-final at Box Hill.

Old Melburnians’ Beaumont brothers were among the goals, with James kicking four, Simon (ex-Carlton and Hawthorn) three and Jeremy two. Old Trinity’s veteran stars Andy Cultrera (five) and Andrew Ramsden (four) were among their team’s goalkickers.

In C-section on Saturday, Oakleigh won through to B-section for the first time in the club’s history with a 21-point victory over Caulfield Grammarians in the preliminary final. Oakleigh entered the VAFA in F2 section in 1993 and have won premierships in recent years in D3 (2004), D2 (2006) and D1 (2007).

Caulfield, which is coached by former St Kilda and Brisbane utility Steve Lawrence, led the ladder all year only to go out in straight sets.

Melbourne High School Old Boys and Oakleigh will play in the C-section grand final at the Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham, next Saturday.

Werribee was near top all year in D1-section, while Fitzroy was midfield until reaching fourth on the eve of the finals. But it was Werribee that went down by 38 points in its preliminary final clash at the St Bernard’s oval in West Essendon. Fitzroy moves into C-section and the D1 grand final next Saturday against Rupertswood at the St Bernard’s Oval in West Essendon.

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